What is funny about Graduate School?

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Er.....So funny here....It is good to know what a day of a professor looks like so ----- as a graduate student we can find more spare time ! just kidding  -___-bb

A day in the life of a professor [found on the net]


7:05 am Wakeup and lie awake in Bed

7:13 Realize you spent $180 last night surfing the web for CDs, means no new stereo components

for the next 6 weeks

7:32 Hit snooze button. Go back to sleep.

7:45 Wake up suddenly with heart in mouth when you realize you didn't hit

the snooze button--you turned it off.

7:50 fall asleep again.

7:55 Wake up with heart in mouth again.

7:59 Ready to go to school, will shave tommorrow, will eat early brunch at

(Denny's/Pamela's/Lenny's/Dinko's whatever cafeteria).

8:15 Get hour of work done at Denny's over 6 cups of coffee

9:18 Arrive at school

Realize your admin assistant arrived earlier today

must think you're a layabout. Realize that your urine smells like coffee. Wonder if this could be a problem.

9:24 Pass by Head of Department's office, chat with Secretary to find out if he is

coming in today. He is, darn.

Need to start work on the grant proposal due this afternoon.

9:25 Read electronic mail

9:28 Delete mail from students taking CMPSC201 regarding questions

about the class and from the poor TA now looking after it.

Hate your teaching job; hate your TA.

Depression: too much work to do today

9:29 For jumpstart: go to Pepsi machine.

9:30 Kick Pepsi machine; promise yourself to call up the company

and ask for your money back.

Wonder why they would believe you now when they would not believe you as a graduate student

9:45 Google yourself, you are rated 1,4,8 and 10, 23, 38, 45, 46, 48, 110, 112, 513, not bad! Google your blog/diary, find out it is popular too!

10:33 Start printing out loads of stuff that may be vaguely related to

your work. Glad you have a faster printer than you had as a grad student.

10:41 Mid morning stupefaction.

Mutter comments to yourself about missing your grad student officemates.

10:43 think about emailing old officemate but put it off.

Feel good about saving time again.

10:59 Damn layabout grad student stops by to borrow pencil, give him a box of pencils to stop further nonsense like this, have trouble getting back on track

11:08 Search for more grant proposals to not write from funders

'round the world (using the "google" search engine, of course)

11:19 Feel sleepy, should not have stayed late surfing the web last night.

11:21 momentary panic attack!!!!!!!!!!!!

11:33 edit home page. write a shell program to edit web site more easily to help recruit "better quality graduate students"

11:49 Drop in at Dean's office and borrow something you dont need like more space

& and kinda make him aware you are working hard on your courses and proposals

12:05 perverted daydreams about being given grants just for showing up

12:07 read electronic news

mid-morning yawn time

12:14 Start typing junk at a very high key-in rate to pretend

you are working hard as head of department's admin assistant passes by from outside.

12:15 Press the BackSpace key for one and a half minutes until all

the garbage you typed in is erased.

Realize that you can type more than 256 characters per half minute, plan Chi letters article about this.

12:21 Flirt with the new professor in the department and with dean for gender equity

12:25 Print out some slides for afternoon's draft + presentation

12:27 Print them again, you forgot to change the date from last presentation and the sponsor's attribution

12:29 Print another copy in case this one gets lost

12:31 Completely forget about sueing the coke-machine company. Notice that you have a Starbucks coffee cup holder that you can return for a 10 cent refund, ka-ching! only 14 more for a free cup of coffee.

12:32 Hunger pangs:

12:35 Hamburger/Fries time at faculty club

Drink a cup of coffee from Starbucks. Spend five minutes waiting in line to use flavored sugars to get flavored coffee instead of paying for syrup.

Ch-Ching, you just saved 30 cents by not buying flavored coffee. Save cup holder, because you heard rumor that they will give you a dime for each holder too!

Faculty club was only $15 so saved something there as well.

Met fascinating biological paleo ethno-metaontologist who you could collaborate with on quite interdisciplinary project

12:40 walking back, calculate at that rate you saved about $15/hour of waiting!

12:45 realise that you only saved only $3.60 per hour of waiting,

12:46 comparison with minimum wage leads to impending feelings of wasted day and fear of discrete math

1:05 Group Meeting with your research group, you are late again

1:14 sudden awareness of one's shallowness

resentment towards students not doing all your work for you and their brown nosing

Get reminded by your students that you need to comment on their work more.

Remind students to get to work.

1:51 turn back student manuscript that was crap with lots of red marks on it, can't they try harder? Student gets a strange look on their face, and then thanks you!

remind student to do more literature survey

1:59 Check electronic mail, don't reply though, you are still too busy to do that

2:06 More generic cola

2:30 Sit through the class you were told to teach, get students to make 'presentations'

2:39 Look outside the window make unrealistic plans to quit

this tenure-track thing and take up a real job.

Wonder why blonde girls are still so pretty.

2:48 More perverted day-dreams.

Meet with work study to give them grant to write.

sharpen box of pencils for that lazy grad student who keeps stopping by asking for pencils

3:43 pm watch the clock

make plans to do a all-nighter tonite

Vow to watch only 1 TiVO'd program

3:51 Senior professor hands you the reddened copy of your joint submission for corrections

3:51:02 The 49 second urge to murder senior colleague begins!!

3:51:52 Realize that he controls your assistantships/promotion/

tenure possiblity/course load/graduate student admissions/all job opportunities/

and the rest of your life.

3:52:53 Thank him

3:52:54 Thank yourself for not saying something stupid to your new "mentor".

3:53:00 splitting headache #1

4:06 pm worry about never publishing

time to write a submission letter--NOT! no time for that.

rearrange desk

call up bank; see if you have any student loan left, you do, lots!

fear of losing small grant next Fall

Read latex manuals to figure out how to put &$%&% in %$^% format

4:56 Notice Head of department leave

4:56:01 Sudden sense of freedom

4:58 Go home for quick, short dinner break with wife, kids, and dog.

9:00 pm Come into the office

9:01pm The hard working professor you are, you have to come to the

office late at night to "get the work done"

9:03 Check electronic mail

Decide it would be a good time to attack those ftp sites you didn't

get to as a grad student so long ago

since network wont be loaded and is even faster now

Run into "since network wont be loaded and not a grad student" traffic and get the

pictures and syllabi into your machine.

Compress all unwanted research/class directories to make space.

Back up all your pictures and copies of other's syllabi

10:11 Admire pictures and syllabi

Begin work; Realize you need references

Realize its too late today to go to the library or send a work study to the library

Sudden feeling of having wasted the day

10:49 Sudden feeling of possibly having to waste the night

Decide to turn in early and come back very very very early tommorrow morning

Decide to surf the web to put yourself in a good mood.

11:15 Surf page after page from online journal to improve your knowledge and

'help your teaching'.

Realize that you still don't know anything

12:20 Play until you beat your old officemate's old score at tetris into the 7th place.

A sense of achievement!! Yes, today was not wasted!!

Revise online faculty diary to amuse your friends and family

Return home to find your wife watching David Letterman reruns

on CBS. Tell her about the "old-style hard working grad student day you had"

Listen to wife laugh unkindly, sarcastically, and your fear a bit bitterly.

1:09 Think about becoming a philosopher and dining with 4 others

(The Dining Philosopher's problem, hee hee :-) (Comp Sci joke, still funny after all these years)

Argue with her about politics, life insurance, why people prefer Japanese

cars and whether it is better to set the heat to "hot" or "cold"

to defrost the windshields faster.

1:19 Realize neither of you have bought milk or bread today and children will have penicillin supported bread for school lunch

Get reminded of the "too little milk problem"

1:24 Forget about getting up early. Turn the phone ringer off

and go to sleep.


PSU CFA Tennis Club

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PSU Chinese Tennis Club (PSU-CTennis) is the first club and the only club I've joined in. Well, there are two-fold reasons: I like tennis very much and I am not so familiar with other clubs-_-b.

PSU Chinese Tennis Club is a group of Chinese tennis players who just simply love tennis. And members have a wide range of skill levels, the advanced to the recent beginner. Our interests also range from competitive play to simple recreation and fitness. As a usual, we get together once a week except snoy months in winter like now as a group to play tennis for a couple of hours. Members also get together on their own time to play thoughout the week.

That's great fun for me ~ Welcome to join us ~

About Lorrie Faith Cranor

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Lorrie Faith Cranor is an Associate Professor in both Computer Science and Engineering  & Public Policy in Carnegie Mellon University. She is also Chief Scientist of Wombat Security Technologies, Inc. She is well known for her research in security and privacy, which is my research interest.

She leads the CMU Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory (CUPS: http://cups.cs.cmu.edu/ ). And she did great contribution in SOUPS as a main founder. The most interesting part of her research is the combination of usable research and privacy and security. She has authored over 80 research papers on online privacy, phishing and semantic attacks, spam, electronic voting, anonymous publishing, usable access control, and other topics.

Dr. Cranor's background is very interesting too. She got her doctorate degree in Engineering  & Policy from Washington University in St. Louis. And while in graduate school she helped found Crossroads, the ACM Student Magazine, and served as the publication's editor-in-chief for two years. She came to CMU in December 2003, after seven years at AT&T Labs-Research. And meanwhile, she also taught in Stern School of Business at New York University. Besides this interesting experience in career path and research orientation, Dr. Cranor is very active in academia world, which refers to http://lorrie.cranor.org/bio.html. That is really a long and impressive list.  


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It seems that I made some disorder of communities and conferences. -__-b
And this week I change my focus on the academic communities that I believe I might be part of someday. Well, I think it is very consistent with the conferences I am interested in.

A little different from conferences, there are some associations which gather a lot of scholars and professionals in the same research area. IAPP, which stands for International Association of Privacy Professionals, is a great example. IAPP is the world's largest association of privacy professionals. Based in York, Maine, U.S.A., this organization represents over 5,000 members from business, governments and academia across 32 countries.

ACM SIGCHI, the ACM's Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction, brings together people working on the design, evaluation, implementation, and study of interactive computing systems for human use. It is another community I look forward to joining in very much. Not only because it matches my interest, but also it has the most prestigious scholars in HCI area. And I believe I can learn a lot and get greatly inspired from them.

Well, although SOUPS does not have official organizations or associations for it, it has a special mailist for scholars in this area. Maybe it is not so appropriate to call it a "community", but I believe due to the specialty of this research area, to be a member of it is great experience.


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IST is a rather interdisciplinary subjects and covers a broad range of research topics. And based on my own research interest and background, there are several conferences which I am very interested in and have a strong intention to submit papers.

The first one is CHI, the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. It is generally considered the most prestigious in the field of human-computer interaction, which is hosted by ACM SIGCHI, the Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction. And I believe this conference is the dream of most IST graduate students. My research interest is human computer interaction in privacy area. And I think this goal would encourage me to do more work.

Secondly, it is SOUPS, which stands for Symposium On Usable Privacy and Security. It is a relatively young conference and it is very specific in privacy and security area. SOUPS distinguishes itself from other conferences by both providing a high quality technical program and by bringing together an interdispciplinary group of attendees in a format conductive to informal discussion and networking.

And the third one is ICIS, which is International Conference on Information Systems. It is an annual international conference for academics and research-oriented practitioners in the area of Information Systems. Basically, I heard this competitative conference from my supervisor Dr. Xu, who is from MIS area. And ICIS is generally regarded as the most prestigious gathering for the Information Systems research community around the world.

My supervisor, in an academic way

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My supervisor, Dr. Heng Xu, is now an assistant professor in the College of Information Sciences and Technology at the Pennsylvania State University. And she leads the Privacy Assurance Lab (PAL), which is an interdisciplinary research group working on a diverse set of projects related to understanding and assuring information privacy.

Her current researvh focus is on the interplay between social and technological issues associated with information privacy. She approaches privacy issues through a combination of empirical, theoretical and technical research efforts. Her research projects have been dealing with impacts of novel technologies on individuals' privacy perceptions, strategic management of firms' information privacy practices, and design and empirical evaluations of privacy-enhancing technologies.

Now I am actually working with Dr. Xu on some interesting projects on privacy enhancing technologies and location-based privacy research.

My supervisor

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My supervisor is Dr. Heng Xu. And here is her website: http://faculty.ist.psu.edu/xu/
She also comes from China and graduated from National University of Singapore as a Ph.D. in the year 2005. After that, she continued her research in Singapore for one year. And then she came to IST, starting as an assistant professor.
Her research area focuses on Management of Information System, Privacy, and Security. In IST, she leads the PAL, standing for Privacy Assurance Laboratory. She is a relatively young scholar in IST and she is really hardworking. I believe I can learn a lot under her supervision.
Actually I like this advising style very much, because I can talk to her about my any opinions in research very freely. And she always gives me some good suggestions and very explicit instructions, which helps me learn much faster. I enjoy this communication style, for she is more like a good friend than a strict supervisor.

Flavor of IST, is it tasteful?

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After presenting in class to introduce the history, structure, and flavors of IST, I have actually got a more comprehensive knowledge about it, from which I feel Wow.
There are many impressive aspects of IST, from its unique building across the Antherton Street, to its flat structure, and the diversity of both faculties and students. I have to say that IST is unique.
Different from many traditional departments, there is no department in College of Information Sciences and Technology. So here comes a question, how to manage this unit? What is the structure of IST? There are many research labs and centers that focus on diverse research directions. And the freedom dimension is great for students because they can find what they are really interested in.
Where can I fit in IST? It is not a new question. When I began to apply programs in the US last year, I thought a lot about it. I am interested in how to make information work better for human beings and what is the effective interaction between human and computer. What's more specifically, how to implement security and privacy issues into this big HCI framework is the major issue I am concerning with.
I believe I will enjoy my life here, both academic and on-campus.

Some Pics

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My understanding of iSchools

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"Information. The Power to Transform Our World".
Well, above motto denotes what is being studied in iSchools and the goal of these research.
iSchools are different from traditional departments in many ways including the research areas, research methodologies, composition of faculties and diversity. iSchools focus on the relations between people, technology, and information. And faculties in iSchools are usually from different scientific categories. iSchools have brought more collaboration than ever in order to make information work well and effectively. This is characterized by a commitment to learning and understanding the role of information in human endeavors. The iSchools take it as given that expertise in all forms of inforamtion is required for progress in science, business, education, and culture. This expertise must include understanding of the users and uses of information, as well as information technologies and their applications.
Different iSchools have different origins and specialties. For instance, IST at Penn State was built from a scratch; iSchool in UC Berkley has similar structure. While other iSchools, some of them origines from Library Information Science, and some have close relations with School of Education or Computer Science.
It is not the first time to talk about why I come here. -__-b
There is no doubt that in IST I can have opportunity to know about the most interdiscpliary subjects and research areas. And it can provide me with a global scope of information related theories and applications. The culture here is another attractive point, which is rather open minded. I think it is a great resource to inspire me. I believe I can improve myself both in academic area and in personality to the highest degree of myself. ~~~~~